Friday, September 17, 2010

Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters are a series of letters from a senior devil (Screwtape) to a junior devil (Wormwood), providing advice on his "temptation efforts" of a young Brit. In the letters, he expresses the subtleties needed to tempt man and bring his "soul" to the devil. Screwtape advises against the obvious frontal assaults, and instead in favor of more subtle maneuverings. Many of the best "destructions" of souls can take place by turning their own virtues in to vices. (For example, church attendance can be helpful to a devil - a person attending church may observe the defects of the others there and use that to imply church teachings are negative.) Helping them to give in to small temptations can bring about a gradual destruction of the soul. On the other hand, wars can actually lead a soul to separate from the devil.

In the end, Wormwood's target is killed during World War II bombings and "lost" to the Devil as he embraced God. However, he is now better prepared for his future targets, so we must be prepared also.

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